Carroll County Times

Mount duo graduates into upper ranks of men's lacrosse record book

When Mount St. Mary's senior Brett Schmidt closed out his career with two goals and three assists in a win over Wagner Saturday, he climbed into a tie for fifth on the school's all-time scoring list.

Quite an accomplishment. But it still left him as only the second-highest scorer on the team over the past four years.

Senior Andrew Scalley had two goals and an assist Saturday to climb to second in school history in points.

"Tremendous athletes," MSM coach Tom Gravante said about his high-scoring duo. "They worked very well together."

Scalley finished the season with 30 goals and a career-high 36 assists for a team-best 66 points. That gave him 220 in his career on 129 goals and 91 assists. Only Greg Tolker, who amassed 235 points from 1985-88, scored more for the Mount.

Schmidt had a team-best 34 goals and 26 assists for 60 points. He finishes with 196 points on 114 goals and 82 assists.

Scalley said it's "been a blessing" to be paired up with a similarly talented player on attack for the past four years.

"We're definitely really close on and off the field," Scalley said. "We feed off each other. We know where each other is on the field."

Scalley and Schmidt took different paths to the Mount.

Schmidt was a highly sought-after recruit at St. Mary's Ryken who (along with twin brother midfielder Bryant Schmidt) came to the Mount to play with older brother Justin, a defender.

"Blue-chip kids. The type of kids we don't get coming out of high school," Gravante said of the Schmidts. "Normally, a top-10 program will get them."

While the Schmidt brothers were redshirting at the Mount in the spring of 2009, Scalley was finishing up an impressive high school career at Archbishop Spalding.

But he wasn't drawing a great deal of Division I interest. Gravante got a tip about a kid who was flying "underneath the radar," scouted Scalley, liked what he saw and got him to come to Emmitsburg.

Scalley and Schmidt contributed right away, finishing second and third in scoring on a strong Mountaineers team. In fact, Scalley tallied the game-winning goal in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference final as the Mount advanced to the NCAA tournament for only the second time in program history.

Scalley counts that championship win and the subsequent experience of facing No. 1 Virginia in the NCAAs as the highlight of his four years at MSM.

But there were plenty of others. Scalley, the Northeast Conference rookie of the year as a freshman (the season before the NEC was a lacrosse league), teamed up with Schmidt to help the Mountaineers to the NEC championship in 2011 (before the league was eligible for an NCAA bid). Both were named first-team all-NEC.

Scalley was a first-teamer and Schmidt a second-teamer the following year, although the Mount fell in the NEC title game.

Scalley said he and Schmidt are similar players, particularly in terms of quickness and vision.

"We both love to go to the goal," he said.

This season, though, Scalley became more of a playmaker. The same player who had only 31 assists total over his first two seasons finished with 36 as a senior, the fourth-most in school history.

Schmidt also set a career-high with 26 assists.

"That's what makes a great attackman," Gravante said. "You take what's offered. If you're doubled, then somebody's open. If it's two passes away, get the hockey assist.

"At times, they did a really, really nice job."

But not all the time. Teams game-planned to stop those two and, as a team, Gravante said the Mountaineers weren't deep enough to win games when Scalley and Schmidt didn't post big numbers.

There were good wins over Bucknell and Delaware early, but the team struggled to a 6-9 record and missed out on the NEC playoffs. Gravante said he hopes the underclassmen learned from this year's mistakes, and will "avenge" the graduating seniors next season.

Being named NEC Player of the Week five times and climbing the school's all-time charts didn't make up for the premature end to his career, Scalley said.

"It's nice to get the accolades, passing some great guys in the record books, but it's not why I play," he said. "I wanted to get back to the NCAA tournament."

For at least one of the high-scoring Mountaineers, and perhaps both, the professional ranks beckon.

Schmidt was selected in the fifth round (38th overall) by the Rochester Rattlers in the Major Lacrosse League draft in January.

Scalley is likely to be selected in the upcoming supplemental draft, Gravante said.

"If he slips through the cracks it would be a terrible shame," the coach said.

Scalley called the end of his four years at the Mount "bittersweet," but said the program made him the player he is today. He hopes to be playing again in the near future, but knows it won't be the same as playing college ball.

"Not playing with the guys again will be tough," Scalley said. "Hopefully I get picked up for MLL season. Also, there are the Howard County leagues. I definitely won't be quick to put down my stick."